Thursday, July 9, 2020

Patterson lives! BLINDSPOT

BLINDSPOT had two episodes tonight.  I'm only writing about one.


I'm about to watch the second episode. 

I could have watched both by now but the first episode was so good, I watched it twice.  I'm not joking.  You have to see that episode if you're a fan.

Patterson was alive.  We found that out when Madeline sent her goons to grab Boston.  Patterson saved him and he was the first to find out she was alive.

Madeline wanted one of the 'living' (she thought Patterson was dead) to go on camera and take the blame.  Jane, Rich, Tasha and Kurt all stand strong and refuse to take her deal.

Madeline realizes her mistake.  She was counting on their eagerness to save their own ass.  That's not how the team works.  They put others ahead of themselves.

Patterson gets a message to Afreem and Weitz.  She needs them to create two visitor badges.  Afreem knows its Patterson, Weitz is skeptical.

Madeline plays on Jane.  Jane steps forward and tapes the confession, it will be easier for Tasha, Rich and Kurt -- they'll go to a federal prison and not to a dark site.

A cross dressing Patterson and Boston get into the FBI headquarters with the fake IDs.  Why did they cross dress?  The FBI's facial recognition program isn't as accurate if you flip gender.

Jane takes the deal to save the others.

Patterson and Boston meet with Afreem and Weitz.  They free Tasha, Rich and Kurt (in that order -- and actually, Rich frees Kurt).  Everyone's thrilled Patterson is alive.

If you don't remember Boston, by the way, he's Rich's sometime lover.  He's a hacker and has been helping the team while they've been in hiding.

They're out of their cells but Jane is in the interrogation room and about to tape the confession that Madeline has written.  As she starts reading from it, Boston gets the idea to send her a message -- in Morse code -- via the red light on the camera.

Jane stalls for time, claims she wants the agreement in writing reviewed by an attorney, etc.

Patterson finds the incriminating evidence against Madeline . . . but Madeline's pinned it on Weitz.  Patterson works to undue that as Weitz takes off.  They've got info but they're going to be caught?  What to do?  Tasha calls Reid's ex and asks her to publish it immediately.  She refuses or balks but Tasha points out Reid is being smeared in these lies.  The woman agrees to publish it.

Madeline's goon Ivy figures out that everyone's loose and that Patterson is in the building.  Patterson gives up their location to distract so they can try to free Jane.

Patterson does that by setting off the "EVACUATE" warning.

Madeline ends up leaving herself -- after her attorney runs up to say THE NEW YORK STAR is about to publish everything.  Use the blackmail, Madeline insists.  The attorney says it's gone.  How long has he been sitting on that, Madeline wants to know?

(Remember Afreem deleted all that last episode.)

He tells Madeline he's leaving and she should too.

The gang gets rounded up by Ivy's goons.

Weitz shows up and tells them that he's taking the team.  On whose authority?  He's head of the FBI.  They say there's only one of him.

That's when the FBI agents that believe in Jane and company show up.

A shoot out ensuse. 

After all the goons are killed, Tasha and Kurt get ready to go rescue Jane when we see Weitz is bleeding -- from his stomach.  He tells them to go get Jane.

Patterson, Afreem and Rich stay with Weitz.  He gets a powerful death scene and a nice note to go out on. 

Tasha and Kurt rescue Jane.

It's time to find Madeline.

An anonymous tip comes in -- the voice is distorted.  It reveals the airstrip Madeline's on, ready to take off.

Ivy and some of her goons are in a remote place with . . . Madeline's attorney wants to be on their side -- he's the one who made the call tipping them off as to where Madeline was.  He has the key to Madeline's cloud.  They don't need him anymore and Ivy kills him.

"Tell me where the zip bombs are," Tasha asks as she goes after Madeline, gun aimed at her.

Madeline responds that she won, "I single handedly turned this country upside down.  I did that.  I made that happen.  [. . .] I'd like to stick around and chat, Tasha, but I can't stay."

She then finishes off a glass of something -- that she's put poison in.  As Tasha watches, Madeline dies.

 It is a great episode and I'll probably watch it again tomorrow before I watch the second one that aired tonight.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, July 9, 2020.  Assassination, drawdown, terror, Iraq.

Starting with this ALJAZEERA report.

From Tuesday's snapshot:
In other news, AL-MONITOR notes:

Notable Iraqi security analyst Hisham al-Hashimi was assassinated in Baghdad today, according to multiple reports.
On Monday, Agence France Presse reported that Hashimi was walking out of his Baghdad home when three gunmen on two motorcycles shot and killed him at close range.
Hashimi was a known and respected commentator on Iraqi affairs who was particularly knowledgable on the Islamic State. Just about an hour before his death, he tweeted that division in Iraq was the result of the ethnic and religious quota system put in place following the 2003 US invasion. The tweet, which some shared after his death, has now been liked more than 11,500 times.

Horrifying video of the assassination today of #Iraq security expert Hisham al-Hashimi. Washington Post reports about threats al-Hashimi had received from #Iran-backed militia groups recently. 1/2

Oraid al-Rantawi (MEMO) explains, "Days before he was killed, Al-Hashimi announced the birth of a parliamentary bloc, which may be a base for Al-Kadhimi and his project, as he is a man without a bloc behind him. The bloc was duly formed with more than thirty members." Arwa Ibrahim (ALJAZEERA) notes, "Last month, al-Hashemi provided updates and insights to tens of thousands of his social media followers after Iraq's Counter Terrorism Service raided a Baghdad base of Kataib Hezbollah (KH), one of the groups under the umbrella of the PMF, over allegations it was behind rocket attacks on US and other diplomatic interests in Iraq."   AFP observes, "The killing of jihadism expert Husham al-Hashimi has stirred fears Iraq is entering a dark and violent phase, as boiling tensions between pro-Iran factions and the government reach new heights." Hammam Latif (ARAB WEEKLY) offers, "Observers say that with Hashemi’s assassination, the Iran-backed militias have killed more than one bird with the same stone. They got rid of a constant thorn in their side and a highly influential voice in directing public opinion against them, while also sending a warning to anyone who dares to criticise them."  Isabel Coles (WALL STREET JOURNAL) reports, "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Iraq to hold to account those responsible for the assassination of a prominent Iraqi security analyst who had been threatened by Iran-backed militias, raising pressure on the new government to rein in the powerful paramilitary groups."  Pompeo was speaking at a press briefing.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:  On Monday, Iraq tragically lost a patriot, prominent scholar, and journalist when Hisham al-Hashimi was brutally assassinated in front of his home in Baghdad.
Dr. Hashimi had devoted his life to a free and sovereign Iraq, and gave voice to the aspirations of the Iraqi people.  In the days leading up to his death, he was repeatedly threatened by Iran-backed armed groups.
And the United States joins partner nations in strongly condemning his assassination, and call for the Government of Iraq to bring to justice the perpetrators of this terrible crime and bring them swiftly to justice.

A peaceful protest was held on Tuesday evening in Baghdad's Tahrir Square to honour Al Hashimi as Iraqis and international colleagues mourned his loss.
Protesters held signs which read: "They assassinated the voice of truth with a fake bullet", and on social media videos circulated of TukTuk drivers sounding their horns outside his home in a show of solidarity and support.
The killing triggered fears that Iraq could enter a violent phase, as tensions between pro-Iranian factions and the government of Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi increase.
Mustafa spoke with al-Hashimi's family. Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) report:

"Do not cry. Your father was a hero, you'll grow up and become really proud of him," Mr Al Kadhimi told Al Hashmi's four children as he visited their home to pay his condolences.
"The world is proud of him, everyone, whether they are in Iraq or out, they are proud of him because he used to challenge terrorism in order to build a better future for you."
He told the boys that he would be responsible for them, ensuring they got a good education and were supported. "I will be your father and brother," he said.

The assassination of al-Hashmi, as we noted at THIRD, is one of those rare Iraqi deaths that actually get attention from the world media.  AFP reminds, "Already, there has been no accountability for more than 550 people killed in protest-related violence since October, when mass rallies slammed Iraq’s government as corrupt, inept and beholden to neighboring Iran. Among them are around two dozen activists who were shot dead, often by masked assailants on motorcycles."  In a separate report, AFP notes:

Hashemi’s killing appears to be a new challenge, said Iraqi politician Raed Fahmi.
“This is a political assassination that represents both the silencing of freedom of speech and a challenge to the government, its prime minister and any reform plan,” he said.
Other Iraqi activists said they had long feared being targeted for speaking out against Iran-backed groups.
“This could have been any one of us. Our friends have already been notified to leave immediately,” said Omar Mohammad, a historian who documented atrocities in Mosul under ISIS.
“If (Kadhimi) will not take a strong step, civil life in Iraq will vanish. But I’m afraid he won’t do it. It’s a suicidal mission,” he told AFP.

In other news, there was talk of a US withdrawal from Iraq.  We guessed it would actually be a drawdown.  The Pentagon made the distinction in 2011 when all US troops did not leave Iraq.  Much of the media ran with the lie that they were all removed.  Ted Koppel, on a short lived NBC news magazine and on NPR's now cancelled TALK OF THE TOWN, was one of the few to accurate report what was taking place.  Again, both programs he reported reality on are no more.  When talk started this year about a withdrawal, there were the usual idiots on the faux left telling us withdrawal was coming.  Turns out, being skeptical was a good position to take.  Ellen Mitchell (THE HILL) reports:

The top U.S. general in the Middle East predicts that a small amount of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
“I believe that going forward, they’re going to want us to be with them,” U.S. Central Command head Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters Tuesday after he met with Iraq’s new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, according to The Associated Press.
“I don’t sense there’s a mood right now for us to depart precipitously. And I’m pretty confident of that.”

McKenzie is just the latest to predict that everyone would want US troops to remain at the end of the day, and he too cited the battle with ISIS, which Iraq’s government has presented as over for months. The US structured the talks on presence to tie it to diplomatic and economic ties, allowing the US to threaten isolation for expelling the unwelcome troops.

Since the parliament’s call for the US ouster, Iraq has gone through multiple PMs, and the post is now held by a pro-US official, which may add to the US sense that they can continue to push allies to keep troops there.

First paragraph?  Who the hell cares what the Iraqi government says about ISIS being vanquished when the reality is that it's not?  ISIS remains active in Iraq.  We've noted that reality has been ongoing.  I don't argue that the US military needs to stay in Iraq for ISIS -- that's Iraq's battle to fight.  But I also don't lie about ISIS and that's what Jason's doing when he cites a claim by the Iraqi government that is false and known to be false.  He cites their claim and presents it as fact when it's not.  I try to be nice but I'm so sick of liars.  I want the Iraq War over (I want this website over) but I'm not going lie.  

Second paragraph, that's not a valid vote in the Parliament.  Sunnis and Kurds boycotted and they didn't have a quorum.  

Now if you read 'reporting' on it -- I'm sure Jason did -- you might have gotten that impression because a bunch of US idiots not capable of writing headlines farmed out on the topic.

I get so damn tired of doing the work required while the Jason Ditzy are able to just write whatever lie they want.  Here's another lie he serves up in the article, " Iraq’s parliament had unanimously voted to call on the US to leave, though the US has not recognized that vote, and has ruled out leaving repeatedly."  Even the people leaving comments at ANTIWAR.COM call Ditzy out for that lie.

This is how ANTIWAR.COM's ''news editor'' 'reports'?  

No wonder the Iraq War never ends.

It's cute, like the way they pretend they're fair and they all have their agendas.  I don't know what the Kurds ever did to so many US outlets but it's apparently so awful that they don't ever have to report accurately on the Kurds.  They can -- and, after all, did -- attack the Kurds for holding a non-binding referendum.

And they can -- and do -- ignore Turkey's continued assault on Iraq.

Iraqi President Barham Salih reiterated Wednesday that  neighboring Turkey must suspend its recent offensive against alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the Kurdistan Region and disputed territories of Iraq, describing the ongoing operations as a “military violation” on Iraqi soil.

Receiving a number of Arab countries’ ambassadors to Iraq, Salih stressed that Iraq maintains its sovereignty and “reiterated that Turkey has to suspend its military violations on the Iraqi soil,” according to a statement from his office. 

Click here for garbage and trash.  We may take that apart next time.  We may not -- life is too short.  Not that the writer of the piece would note -- notice how the deaths of Iraqis are ignored except for a sweeping statement but the claims of the Turkish government are presented as fact.  Garbage. Trash.

Turkey is not trying to end terrorism, the government is actively terrorizing Kurds -- in Iraq and in Turkey.  Pinar Tremblay (AL-MONITOR) explains:

Picture this: A woman is home alone in Diyarbakir province in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast. At 5 a.m., 100 policemen from counterterrorism and special forces units storm the apartment, instructing the neighbors to stay inside and not communicate with anyone. Then they sledgehammer the door and unleash two police dogs to attack Sevil Rojbin Cetin. But that is only the beginning. 
Cetin is an activist in women’s movements and a former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) mayor, elected in 2014 and replaced by a government appointee in 2016.
Cetin was interrogated for 3½ hours in her apartment while her legs were bleeding from multiple dog bites. The apartment was turned upside down, while she was blindfolded and beaten.
She was stripped half naked with her hands tied, while photos were taken of her. The physical and sexual torture was coupled with verbal abuses; a gun was held to her head. “At one point she was taken to the balcony and the officer told her, ‘If your apartment was on the 5th floor, you would have jumped by now and we would not have to deal with you,” said Meral Danis Bestas, a pro-Kurdish HDP lawmaker.
Cetin’s Attorney Gulistan Ates, who took photos of her injuries after the ordeal and shared them with the press, was called to the police station and an investigation has been launched against him. 

We'll wind down with this webinar. 

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